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Ph.D. Course Specializations and their Career Scope

Doctorate of Philosophy or popularly known as Ph.D. is one of the highest education title awarded to the students for their eminent contribution to the field of knowledge.

Ph.D. is an intricate study of the specific subject which accumulates system of beliefs and further present in form of thesis. The student that undergoes this intense study of the course is later on awarded with the title of Doctor though not in conventional sense.

While earlier Ph.D. was confined to limited fields, now it has expanded its roots in varied field of study. Engineering, Law, Humanities, Social Sciences are some of the many fields of study under Ph.D. There are a plethora of subjects in which students can take up their research study.

Ph.D. coursework comprises of theory and generation of research thesis during the final year. A Ph.D. programme is completely subjective and requires thorough reading and writing practice.

Ph.D. is considered to be a lucrative field as it makes way for many opportunities for students in myriad areas. A Ph.D. can serve in the highest positions in universities and reputed organizations.

Duration of Ph.D. course.

The duration of the course is minimum 2 years and can span for maximum of 5 to 6 years. The program in offered on full-time as well as part-time basis. The course is not limited to the native students alone, students studying abroad can also pursue this course in form of distance learning. However, the value of distance learning is less in comparison to Full-time, reason why most students opt for the latter.

The academic year for the courses commences between July and August every year.

Specializations in Ph.D.

There are a variety of fields that fall under one vast area of study, Ph.D. These specializations help you in studying about your specific field of interest. Here below we have curated some prominent field of study with a brief elucidation

1. Ph.D. in Theology

Ph.D. in Theology is a stream of Philosophy which concentrates on instilling in students the intricacies and details of religion as the base of study. The duration of the program is 3 years. Students who have the knack to understand the various dimensions of their religion, thus wanting to spread a positive outlook about the same in the society are considered suitable for Ph.D. in Theology course.

Eligibility: Eligibility for the program is the completion of Master’s degree in Theology along with passing the entrance examination/ personal Interview conducted by the respective universities. Candidates are offered specializations in Christian theology, Islamic studies, Hindu theology and much more. Covering varied sections of the theological science.

Top Colleges for Ph.D. in Theology

  • Faith Theological College and Seminary – Karnataka
  • Aizawl Theological College – Mizoram
  • Martin Luther Christian University – Meghalaya
  • Tamilnadu Theological Seminary – Madurai

Career prospects: Doctorates of Theology can work as Religious Teacher, Writer, Missionary, Non-Profit Program Administrator and much more.

2. Ph.D. in Sociology

Doctorate of Philosophy or Ph.D. in Sociology is a 3-year programme. It is the study of human cultures, societies, and communities. Ph.D. Sociology aims to increase the understanding of the students about the different societies and thereby help in the classification of human behaviour systematically. The study of the subject provide candidates the clarity regarding why is a man a social animal and how his behaviour do and actions influence the society.

Eligibility: The eligibility of the program is holding a Master’s degree in any relevant discipline or an M.Phil. with minimum aggregate marks.

The major subjects covered in Ph.D. Sociology includes

  • Social Mobility
  • Social Stratification
  • Economic Development
  • Women’s Issues
  • Drug Addiction
  • Cultural Study

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Sociology

  • Indira Gandhi National Open University – Delhi
  • Assam University – Assam
  • Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University – Delhi
  • Central University of Orissa – Orissa

Career Prospects: Demographer, Investigator, Research Analyst, Programme Evaluator, Research Officer, Policy Analyst, etc.

3. Ph.D. in Social Work

Ph.D. in Social work is a 2-year doctorate program in social work which is designed to cater knowledge to the candidate regarding the various services designed to uplift the poor class of the society. Ph.D. Social Work course largely comprises the study of social work education and social research.

Eligibility: The eligibility criteria for the course is similar to other Ph.D. programs with a minimum aggregate of 55% in PG degree. The selection of international students will be conducted through a telephonic interview conducted by the college panel.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Social Work:

  • Christ University – Bangalore
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University – Delhi
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences – Mumbai
  • Madras School of Social Work – Chennai

Career Prospects – Engineering Technologist, Researcher, Development and Test Engineer, Human Services Workers

4. Ph.D. (Science)

Ph.D. in Science covers doctorate program in the various field of science. It includes doctorate program with specializations in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Mathematics, and others. The duration of the program is 3 years, the eligibility of which is to earn Master’s degree or M.Phil. in the respective field of specialization. Ph.D. Science course provides interdisciplinary training in the streams of science combining varied tools of study.


  • Physics
  • Applied Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Material Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Mathematics

The Top Colleges for Ph.D. in Science:

  • Sardar Patel University – Gujarat
  • Gulbarga University – Gulbarga
  • IIT Kanpur – Kanpur
  • University of Delhi – New Delhi

Career Prospects – Research Scientist, Elemental Specialist, Analytic Science, Food Scientist, Technologist, Raw Material Sourcing, etc.

5. Ph.D. (Physics)

Doctorate in Physics is a 3-year duration course which involves the study of science as matter. Ph.D. Physics course includes studying the different dimensions of Physics. Candidates who wish to enhance their practical skills of planning, execution as well as reporting of experiments using technical details are considered beneficial for this course. Students are instilled with the knowledge of basic laws of nature, and its application in varied fields of electronics, geophysics, communications, health and other such.

Eligibility: The eligibility for the program is earning an M.Phil. or M.Sc. in Physics or Material Science with minimum aggregate along with clearing the requisite entrance test and interview.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Physics

  • Amity University – Delhi
  • Savitribai Phule Pune University – Pune
  • University of Madras – Chennai
  • University of Delhi – New Delhi

Career Prospects: Senior Physicist, Technical Writer, Scientist, Subject Matter Expert, Lab Supervisor, Training Manager, etc.

6. Ph.D. (Philosophy)

Ph.D. in Philosophy is a doctorate in Philosophy program spanning for a duration of 3 years. The course prepares the student to generate thesis with the help of various tools used for conducting research. The eligibility of Ph.D. Philosophy program is qualifying M.Phil. with a minimum aggregate of 55% marks and above from a reputed university or institution.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Philosophy

  • Assam University – Assam
  • Allahabad University – Uttar Pradesh
  • Christ University – Karnataka
  • Gauhati University – Assam

Career Prospects: Professors, Writers, Authors, Assistant Researchers

7. Ph.D. (Medicine)

Ph.D. in Medicine or Doctorate of Medicine is a full-time Doctoral program in Medicine, the duration of which is 3 to 5 years. Ph.D. Medicine program is designed in a manner that it can render the students the required skills who wish to conduct research in Medicines, benefitting the student to gain a broader view of the subject wherein all the major areas of medical science are covered extensively.

Eligibility: Eligibility for the course is earning a PG degree in Medicine or else MD/MS with minimum aggregate marks. The selection will be done on the basis of Interview/ GD and entrance test.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Medicine:

  • University of Mumbai – Mumbai
  • University of Delhi – New Delhi
  • Panjab University – Chandigarh
  • Maharishi Dayanand University – Rohtak

Career Prospects: Geneticist, Vocational Rehab Counselor, Medical Scientists, Hospital Administrator, etc.

8. Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering is the field of study which deals with the branch of Mechanical Engineering. The branch of study which primarily deals with the aspects of designing, production, and operations of machines and tools. Integrating the fields of physics and material science, the students are rendered an in-depth understanding of the subject, thus advancing their area of knowledge. The duration of Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering program is 3 years.

The eligibility for the program is holding either M.Phil. or PG degree in Mechanical Engineering with minimum aggregate. The selection is done on the basis of entrance test held by UGC, Personal Interview, and Group Discussion.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

  • ACS College of Engineering – Karnataka
  • AKS University – Madhya Pradesh
  • Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham – Tamil Nadu
  • Bangalore Institute of Technology – Karnataka

Career prospects: Senior Engineer, Mechanical and Agricultural Engineer, Technical Writer, Engineering Professor, etc.

9. Ph.D. (Law)

Ph.D. in Law offers interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary dimensions of subjects related to law. This program aims at expanding the fundamental objective and outlook of law from the spectrum of humanities and management. Students are rendered knowledge about the effect of procedures and policies in the governance and business administration.

Ph.D. in Law course is provided on the basis of both full-time, part-time aspects. The eligibility is holding LLM degree in Law with minimum aggregate meeting the norms set by the university. The selection is done on the basis of entrance test and personal interview.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Law:

  • University of Mumbai
  • University of Delhi – New Delhi
  • Panjab University – Chandigarh
  • Banaras Hindu University – Varanasi

Career prospects: Law advisor, Legal Analyst, Professor of Law, Researcher, etc.

10. Ph.D. (Economics)

A Ph.D. degree in Economics covers the dimensions of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. The course throws light on analysis of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Ph.D. in Economics course is covered in a duration of 2 years and can range to a maximum of 5 to 6 years.

The eligibility of the course is similar to that of other Ph.D. specializations.

Topics covered:

  • Micro and Macro Economics
  • Market Theory
  • National Income
  • Theory of Demand
  • Theory of Production and Cost
  • Money and banking
  • Theory of Intervention
  • Theory of Income and Employment

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Economics:

  • University of Mumbai
  • University of Delhi – New Delhi
  • Panjab University – Chandigarh
  • Maharishi Dayanand University – Rohtak

Career prospects: Healthcare Economics Manager, Business Analyst, Medical Economics Manager, Health Economics & Reimbursement Manager

11. Ph.D. (Computer Science)

Ph.D. in Computer Science is a stream of study which aids students to become experts in the technicalities and advance their state of knowledge about the subject. Students gain an in-depth insight into understanding the subjects related to computer science including programming language, hardware, and software tools. The duration of the programme is 3 years which is subject to differ based on the university.

The eligibility of Ph.D. in Computer Science course is passing PG or M.Phil. in Computer Science with a minimum aggregate of 55% marks and above.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Computer Science:

  • Chitkara University – Punjab
  • IIT Hyderabad – Andhra Pradesh
  • Lovely professional University – Delhi
  • Chandigarh University – Chandigarh

Career Prospects: Electronic Commerce Developer, Data-warehouse Analyst, Data Communication Specialist, Subject Matter Expert

12. Ph.D. (Chemistry)

Ph.D. in Chemistry is a Doctor of Philosophy course in the stream of Chemistry. Ph.D. in Chemistry course deals with the aspects of science as matter, studying about their properties, composition, behavior, reactions, structure, interactions and so on. Conducting research on chemistry as a topic, candidates are rendered the broader perspective of understanding the connection between physics and other natural sciences such as geology, astronomy, and biology.

Eligibility: The duration of the program is 3 years and the eligibility is qualifying M.Sc. or M.Phil. in the stream of Chemistry. The candidates will have to clear the national entrance including NET, DET and other such along with qualifying the interview process.

Top colleges for Ph.D. in Chemistry:

  • Panjab University – Chandigarh
  • Osmania University – Hyderabad
  • Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology – Delhi
  • University of Delhi – Delhi

Career Prospects: Medical Technologist, Analytical Chemistry Manager, Chemistry Professor, Researcher

13. Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering)

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering deals with the field of engineering teaching the tools used in chemical engineering. Chemical engineering is a comprehensive study of applying physical science and life science together. The various aspects of engineering including chemistry, physics are studied in integration with biology, biochemistry, and microbiology along with economics and mathematics in order to process raw materials into finished goods.

Eligibility: The duration of Ph.D. Chemical Engineering program is 2 years. The eligibility of which is qualifying M.E. or M.Tech in Chemical Engineering with 55% aggregate marks.

Top colleges for Chemical Engineering

  • Ramaiah Institute of Technology – Bangalore
  • Vishwakarma Institute of Technology – Pune
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth University – Pune
  • Cochin University of Science and Technology – Kochi

Career Prospects: Health & Medicine Operator, Equipment Engineer, Protection Officer, Chemical Lab Operator, Biological Data Observer, Procurement Manager

14. Ph.D. (Biotechnology)

Ph.D. in Biotechnology or Doctor of Philosophy in Biotechnology is a Doctorate in Biotechnology course. Ph.D. in Biotechnology course aids the candidates to understand the intricacies of applied biology which studies about the use of living organisms in the field of technology. The candidates have varied fields of technology, medicine, engineering and other biological products. The duration of the course is 3 years which can differ based on the norms set by different colleges.

The eligibility of the program is qualifying an M.Phil. degree in the field of Biotechnology.

Top colleges for Biotechnology

  • University of Delhi – New Delhi
  • Assam University – Silchar
  • JJ College of Arts and Science – Tamil Nadu
  • Hindusthan College of Arts and Science – Tamil Nadu

Career Prospects: Patent Search Analyst, Process Engineer, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research Analyst, Medical Technologist & Laboratory Technologist, etc.

Eligibility for Ph.D. course

Students aspiring for pursuing Ph.D. have to meet the set eligibility criteria. This may vary for different institutes but on a whole the eligibility for Doctorate programme is most often holding a Master’s degree in the subject which one contemplates to pursue.

There are some other factors as well which are brought into consideration while admitting students for Ph.D. Programme. We have curated these factors for you down here:

  • Foremost a candidate is required to hold a Master’s degree to gain admission to the Doctorate programme. However, some Ph.D. courses may require M.Phil. (Master of Philosophy) as a pre-requisite criteria.
  • The minimum eligibility marks required ranges between 55 to 60% based on the university chosen.
  • In addition, candidates with a minimum of 4 years professional experience as a teacher/professor/social worker/etc. is an added benefit.
  • For students who have completed their M.Phil. would be exempted from appearing the entrance examination or coursework for Ph.D. as it the marks secured during M.Phil. the level will be compiled with that of UGC.
  • If the student has completed their M.Phil. from one university and moves on to another for pursuing Ph.D., in such cases, the new university may credit or exempt the coursework done in the previous university. However, the candidate will still have to undertake the entrance examination for Ph.D. for securing a seat in the new university.
  • The same above criteria is applicable for students who have passed their M.Phil. from any university abroad.
  • Candidates appearing for their final year PG examinations are eligible to undertake the National level entrance test viz. NET (National Eligibility Test) conducted by the UGC. Such students will have to submit the requisite degree certificates and final transcripts which are duly attested.
  • A candidate will be deemed eligible if they pass the interview procedure held a month before the commencement of the program.

The course structure

The Ph.D. course is a combination of theory and research work. The duration and amount of coursework depend largely on the candidate’s previously done research work and its background. The basic structure of the course includes

  • Coursework – Including classroom study and assignments
  • Pedagogy
  • Examination – End term examination conducted after the completion of every semester
  • Preparation of Research Proposal
  • Generation of Thesis

In addition, the student’s performance will be constantly scrutinized and assessed throughout the semesters. Students are required to submit a thesis which is neither plagiarized nor copied. It should be an original piece of work presenting the knowledge of the candidate in formation of thesis.

Students pursuing doctorate degree will be mandatorily required to submit the research thesis at the end of the final year. Students may be given an opportunity to go abroad to attend scholar programs. Post this, students attain a better stand to defend their proposal and work more efficiently on their thesis.

What after Ph.D.?

Ph.D. opens gate to plethora of opportunities after the successful completion of the degree. Students have a wide scope in India as well as abroad in terms of career opportunities. You can opt to become an eminent professor or researcher in desired field.

More often than not, Doctorate holders turn into authors and write articles and books on topics they have researched on and also on related disciplines.

Those who are already employed, earning a Ph.D. degree enhances their chance of boosting their career in form of promotion and salary hike. The average salary earned by doctorates ranges from INR 10 to 40 Lacs per annum.

Candidates who are endowed with the title of Doctor has lucrative opportunity to become CEO, CFO, Head of Administration, Professors, Writers, Authors and many more.

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